Bingo History

When the game came to North America, it was called “beano” because it involved dealers who selected numbered discs out of cigar boxes...

The origins of bingo and online bingo – as fascinating as the games themselves!

Bingo came to North America in 1929, but it actually dates back to 16th century Italy with a lottery game called “Lo Giuoco Code Loto.” By the 1700s, it had found its way to France where wealthy Frenchman, having long played games with cards and tokens, simply incorporated the numbers into the game they called “Le Lotto.” The game soon took hold in Germany and the rest of Europe.

When the game came to North America, it was called “beano” because it involved dealers who selected numbered discs out of cigar boxes, and players who had the numbers had to mark their cards with beans and yell “Beano!” if they won.

The game took on its current name and form when salesman Edwin Lowe renamed it “Bingo,” invented 6,000 new bingo cards with new number combinations, and marketed bingo as  a fundraising game in churches all across America.

The birth of online casinos

In the ‘70s, land-based casinos started seeing the future – with graphics-enhanced computerized software replacing electromechanical slots and specially designed software now used by blackjack card counters.

Two decades later, the advent of the Internet spawned online casinos, enabling gambling lovers to play their favorite casino games without leaving home.

In the early ‘90s, these developments made online casinos an industry force to be reckoned with:

the establishment of the first major online gambling jurisdiction in Antigua and Barbuda; the Free Trade and Processing Zone which issued online gambling licenses; the launching of software provider, Microgaming, which created new online casino games ; the creation of the financial components critical to online casinos by Cryptologic.

Today, there are over 2,000 online gambling sites with more than $15 billion in combined revenue. It has also precipitated the next big event in bingo history:  its introduction over the Internet.

From bingo halls to virtual bingo

With live betting and more and more online casino websites sprouting up, online bingo has grown exponentially and transformed a popular game into a worldwide craze now worth about $1 billion.

In the mid- to late ‘90s, two games emerged to launch the online bingo phenomenon: Bingo Zone and Bingo Blitz. And the following developments have propelled its growth ever since:

·Technology advances in browser technology and the languages used online – allows bingo games to be built into flash or JavaScript applications

·Bonus incentives for user deposits - encourages more people to play online bingo for real money

·Auto-daub feature – automatically ticks off card numbers as they’re called so players don’t miss a win if their concentration lapses

·Chat rooms – enable players to interact with fellow players and assess their odds for winning (the number of players in the chat room is the same as the number of players in the game)

Yes, bingo has come a long way since the 16th century Italian lottery game and, as technology marches on, bingo history continues to be written.